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Sunfeast 10k marathon on Sunday morning meant, all roads around Cubbon Park, and MG road blocked for vehicular movement. I had registered for Kalyan Varma‘s workshop in association with National geographic channel at the British Council. Took an auto till Minsk Square and started walking a distance of 2km from Minsk square to British Library. Shot a few images of marathoners on Cubbon road and Kasturba road.

Tabebuia Rosea was on bloom, though not fully, and the clear blue sky provided a nice opportunity to take this image:

sunfeast-marathon-cubbon-park

The enthusiasm of the runners was really exciting. Though many were tired and were just strolling, there were enough people to encourage the runners. There were many groups and organizations running for fun and some causes. There were disabled people, and many who supported their cause for equal opportunity for disabled. There were people running to save trees. There were few who ran to save the Sparrows. :)

It was an exhilarating experience for me as i walked on those roads i’ve traveled million times. I had never seen those roads without motor vehicles.

At Minsk square, i shot this image hand held at 1/6s shutter speed. Did selective coloring on Photoshop to get the image below. I feel, just the desaturated image would have been better after seeing on the blog.

.

As huge fan and admirer of Kalyan’s work, i was a little disappointed with the workshop. I think it would have been lot better if it wasn’t for so much stress on National Geographic photographs, which undoubtedly are top class. Anyway, it was a great opportunity to meet guys like Kalyan, who provide immense inspiration to many aspiring wildlife photographers.

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Caught this lovely kid at Aero show 2009 on Valentine’s Day.

i-love-bangalore

Hope you had a happy Valentine’s day!

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You must have watched this already. I saw it now and want to share with those who haven’t watched.

When i asked myself this question i got two answers.

1. Five hundred is too less

2. Petrol for 500 rupees.

What does it mean to you?

There are things we take for granted so easily, and there are people for whom it’s an experience they’ve never had. Though i’ve experienced similar moments expressed in the video, the video conveys it the best. I’ll think a zillion times before i spend 500bucks next time. You too do that.

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MTV India sucks

It was one of my favorite channels a couple of years back, but now it sucks big time. The quality of shows on MTV has gone down drastically, and seems like morons (read Raghu) have taken over the channel and try to capture audience by bitching. Roadies was just a show, and now it’s almost like MTV has nothing but that in its forte, and all other shows revolves around that!

The weirdos, who are good only to laugh at, from ‘reality’ shows have turned VJs with abysmal sense of humor, and unmatched arrogance and attitude. If you’ve ever watched ‘Wassup Youngistan’, you’ll know what i’m saying. This ridiculous, in a non-humorous way, stupid show is hosted by brainless dolts from Roadies, Bani and Ayushman. They’ve got nothing but attitude like a Raghu :)) . Has MTV gone bankrupt and not able to pay for quality VJs like Nihkil, Cyrus, and Mini? Or is there a dearth for such VJs that they have to run a set of disgusting shows with a not-a-VJ-material amateurs picked up from reality shows? Why would i wanna watch an attitude filled ass on tv when there are millions of around everywhere?

Splitsvilla, i don’t even feel like writing about it. Read this post from Nova, Splitsvilla or Disgustvilla.

‘Fully faltoo’, a spoof that was good few years back. Spoofs on Sholay, few Indian cricketers, and the movie Dhoom were actually funny, but now they have totally lost the plot with recent spoof on TZP, Bechaare Zameen Par. Cyrus Sakhukar was the only respite, and he still has some humor left, and his portrayal of bunny teeth was hilarious.

It’s hard to say which is worse, news set of VJs or the shows. There seems to be no respite from watching Raghu’s handpicked morons, at least for now. Roadies is a nice show, even though the concept is “inspired”. But i’d prefer it to be just a show on MTV, and not eclipse the channel itself. Hopefully, they get out of this set of stupid shows and get back to showcase some quality.

Some times this makes me wonder if it’s only me who is sick of this. At least from Nova‘s post i know, not many people enjoyed Splitsvilla. Do people actually enjoy watching these shows and VJs? What do you think?

P.S.: Another disappointment was in Indian Idol, where last years contestants have turned hosts. They don’t suck as much as MTV hosts, but no one can replace Mini Mathur. I really hope she’ll be back soon.

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What does a politician want?

What does a terrorist want?

I think there is no one who can answer these questions, not even the sinners themselves. All that a group of terrorists do is kill people and create panic, and all that a group of politicians do is put blame on others.

When there is a bomb blast in Bangalore, Congress and JD(S) blame the state BJP government for not acting swiftly. When Christians are clobbered by Bajrang Dal activists, again they blame non-secularism of BJP, and the BJP put the blame back on opposition for playing the blame game. When there’s a bomb blast in Delhi, BJP blames Congress for weak action against terrorism, and home-minister becomes the scapegoat. Is blaming the home-minister and holding him responsible end this? No doubt he is to take some blame, but we can’t keep doing this all the time. Where is this taking us? Why do politicians keep playing the blame game, and why do the terrorists kill people? Is there an answer?

Helpless‘ was the headlines on TOI the day after Delhi bomb blasts. Exactly so. Is there anything that a common man who was shopping on Karol Bagh have done, other than keeping a eye, to stop those bomb blasts? Couple of weeks back there was a thick roll, laying suspiciously with mild fumes coming out of it, in front of my office. My boss, who went out to take his car, noticed that and asked the security to call for police. Police acted adequately. They blocked the road for few minutes and gave a thorough check, and it didn’t turn out to be a bomb. But, it could have been neo.

How often does one life in fear, and look at everything laying around them, from garbage can to poor man’s cycle, suspiciously? It is for the law enforcement agencies, and intelligence to find a solution to stop this kind of attacks, who must be supported adequately in all respects by the government. The part of the opposition is not to play the blame-game all the time. Politicians are not to terrorize the ruling party. They need to be constructive in any small way they can. Of course, the ruling politicians need to work a lot and get these law enforcing people to act productively, not just to please the opposition.

Terrorists seem like a bunch of Jokers. One, for having no proper face, and scarred history. Two, for killing people without any particular reason. Unfortunately there’s no Batman or Gordon to save us, and we are left at the mercy of politicians against whimsical jokers, playing to their fun.

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BarCamp is back in Bang!

Dates: 13th and 14th September ’08.

Venue: Hasn’t changed since…. well it’s IIM-B.

Registration type: Same as BCB6, talk or be unavailable (either lead a session, give an idea or volunteer).

My experiences in BCB5 and BCB6 has been great. I’m looking forward this time around as well. Though mostly attended by the techies,  Bangalore being infested with them, BarCamp is ‘unconference’ on any topic one wishes to talk about. Bloggers galore, so do web developers and enthusiasts, but if there’s a topic on Kamasutra and Panchatantra, which was led by Shashikant Joshi in BCB6, who wouldn’t be interested!

Read about my previous BarCamp experience here.

Here are few important links for BCB7:

BarCamp Bangalore 7 Main Page

BarCamp Bangalore yahoo groups mailing list

Also, the logo design contest is open and few nice logos are designed. Check this out here.

Catch you at BCB7! :-)

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How many movie reviews have i read in others’ blogs? by Nova – the marathon movie watcher, Meghana – a very close competitor, and Reema – another close competitor.  Seems like a zillion. My comment would generally be ‘Oh ya.. got to watch that one. Adding to my must watch list‘, ‘I’d wanna skip that‘, and ‘This is all i’d catch of this movie‘. One of my testimonial on a popular social networking site says ‘Doesnt watch too many movies : minus‘ in an analysis to make bachelor girls’ life easier. :))

I’ve skipped movies when my friends have bought tickets for me standing in long queues, forcing them to sell it. I’m sorry for that guys. Being in a big city with so many multiplexes, i had not been to one until last year. The expression of my friends would be something like ‘What!!?? You have never been to PVR!?‘ like i’ve missed the most important thing in life.

But i do watch movies, you’d be surprised to know i’ve watched Dil Chahta hai first day, first show, and since i’ve developed a liking for Farhan Akthar movies.

I’ll be watching ‘Rock On’ starring Farhan Akthar, SRK’s keep, Luke Kenny and Purab Kohil tonight. Watch out for my first movie review here (only if it turns out to be good :)).

Till then, laugh your heart out at this pic of Micheal Phelps at very young age:

micheal phelps at very young age

micheal phelps at very young age

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Dream School Foundation, and iQuest India together had co-ordinated a notebook distribution program for underprivileged government school kids in the HD Kote taluk on Tuesday, as they have been doing so for about 7-8 years now in various places in Karnataka. I happened to be a part of this exciting program this year.

We started from Bangalore on Tuesday morning at 6:15 am, and reached Sargur in HD Kote taluk by 11am. HD Kote happens to be one of the most backward regions in Karnataka, and is mostly habituated by the tribal population around backwaters of Kabini reservoir. There are many government schools and few tribal schools in this place but lack sufficient infrastructure to cater the needs of the kids here for good education.

A pile of notebooks for distribution

A pile of notebooks for distribution

About 12500 notebooks were obtained for distribution from the fund raised by Infosys. The notebook distribution was organized in a marriage hall with the support of a local NGO, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement. SVYM is a very inspiring organization started by a bunch of doctors from Mysore, about couple of decades back, for the development of health care and education in the tribal settlements of HD Kote, around Kabini backwaters. They’ve grown phenomenally in the last two decades, now having a good hospital, tribal school and lots of other activities.

The program went well, and i’ve included few pics of those kids here.

A classroon in VTCL, Hosahalli, HD Kote

A classroom in VTCL, Hosahalli, HD Kote

After the notebook distribution program, we had a look at the Vivekananada memorial hospital built by the local NGO, and had our lunch there. We visited a tribal school, Viveka Tribal Centre for learning (VTCL), in Hosahalli, about 30km from Sargur. The school is around the Kabini back waters, and we could see the full flowing Kabini dam on our way from Sargur to Hosahalli. Terming it as a beautiful school would be an understatement. Sprawling in the forest region, this school has both residential and non-residential students from the tribal settlements around that place. Children from tribal communities like Jenu Kurubas, Kaadu kurubas, Yeravas and Soligas attend this school which has good Computer, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry lab for classes from 1 to 10th. I was pleasantly surprised by the efforts of SVYM in providing such wonderful facilities in this part of the world.

Tribal girl portrait at VTCL - my best shot in the entire trip

Tribal girl portrait at VTCL - my best shot in the entire trip

The above image in color is here.

Just when we finished looking around the tribal school, the dark grey clouds opened up. The jungles look the best during monsoon. A couple of weird species caught my eye, a millipede may be, and another one i can’t identify. This unidentified bug was racing away from the spot across the road, i managed to get a quick snap of him, and tried to put him in the open for a better shot but he just rolled up and started rolling down the road!

Embracing self with a million legs

Embracing self with a million legs

Racing across the road

Racing across the road

As i held in my hand, rolled up and there he goes!

As i held in my hand, rolled up and there he goes!

The trip was a very enriching one for me in various aspects. Saw, met and interacted with different people with different views, all striving to help create a better tomorrow for the people around them. I just have played a minuscule role in this program and the returns surely were a lot. Reached Bangalore by 11pm, and someone was surely very annoyed for the delay. But was still smiling. (it’s not me)

Below are few pics worth a look.

‘What you wanna become when you grow up?’

D

Bala scaring kids

A peek into 2nd std tribal class

A peek into 2nd std tribal class

Tribal kids in class - excited to see some alien with cam

Tribal kids in class - excited to see some alien with cam

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This last month or so, inflation seems to be sky rocketing without any bound. The dollar is again touching 43 rupees just when i shortlisted a DSLR to buy. Nearly 4 rupee rise per dollar would increase the cost of owning the DSLR by 12%. Though the rising dollar would be a good sign for small and medium scale exporters, the effects of this would not be seen immediately. IT companies have already announced their single digit hikes for the top performers, and fired the non-performers. The crash of the markets has gripped the nation along with the increase in fuel prices. Also, there’s this food shortage crisis looming.

Albeit all these price rises, one thing seems to be decreasing. That is the cost for telecomm services. The tariff for STD and other services are being slashed every other day. First it was Vodafone and Airtel, and now it is BSNL. Though it seems like this is the result of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) decision to remove the access deficit charge (ADC), i feel that they would already be running these services at a very high price and this small cuts would be insignificant as their customer base increases.

What is the major cost for running a telecom service once they have their network up and running?

Preity zinta, BSNL best hai mere liye?

Advertisements, with big superstars and not-so-big superstars endorsing to call up your sister irrespective of whether she’s in Dehradun or somewhere nearby or the pug running behind you to help you. Yes, this is the only major cost apart from the salaries for their staff who take only a part of the top brass’ pay. So as these companies capture more market, they could afford to run the network efficiently and optimally without incurring more expenditure. This would maximize their profits. This is an ideal situation for them to get aggressive and capture more market. So, How do they do this?

Vodafone pug

By slashing the already high tariffs. This would make the customers to make calls more often, there by making higher utilization of the network, raking in more turnover and hence more profits.

The already over-priced telecom service is the only entity to be slashing prices in this near double digit inflation struck India, and i continue to wait for the D-Day.

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Winning an election is one thing, running a successful government is a totally different thing. Having won the assembly elections with a near simple majority, BJP would soon realize this. 110 seats no good for forming a government in Karnataka. The effort it takes to form a government with the help of independent MLAs is not just the assurance of ministral portfolio but actually getting them to swear in. Does this ensure Mr.Yediyurappa will be able to run a hassle free government for 5 years?

If anyone knows even little bit of politics, he would say no, and rightly so. Congressmen are furious to have lost their foothold in the southern Indian, especially Karnataka. They being in the opposition would be scrutinizing every single move of our beloved CM Mr.Yediyurappa. The Gowda clan wouldn’t be the one to sit quietly in the assembly. The vengeance of their loss would be evident in the allegations they would be making for every minute mistake BJP or their ministers make.

Remember Nikhil Gowda’s drunken brawl episode? Now, if anything remote to that happens with any of the BJP minister kins, no doubt it will be blown out of proportion not only by the media but also by every member of the opposition in the assembly. HD Kumaraswamy was very fortunate to have escaped with very less damage. Both BJP and Congress, to some extent, were not so keen on tarnishing his image for having formed coalitions. But Yediyurappa and his government will not get away easily with any such antics.

Yediyurappa seems to be aware of this, and is trying to please everyone. The biggest mistake a leader does is try to please everyone. First, by swearing in 30 MLAs as ministers, and now visiting former CMs and his bitter rivals in the recent past. Having visited Deve Gowda, he has now visited Bangarappa at his residence. Does he think that they would be pleased by this gesture and co-operate with Yediyurappa, and not create a furore against him in future? One should be an idiot to expect such a thing from Gowda.

Staying mum will not help in leading a government. Taking the suggestion from national leaders, all the time, is a lame excuse for delaying decisions. Mr.Yediyurappa needs to overcome the fear of consequences and has to take his own decisions without trying to please everyone. The walk on a tight rope is for the one with the adroitness of a magician. Yediyurappa faces the key trust vote today, hopefully he’ll be more proactive in future if he secures the trust vote today.

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